MMA Thai Boxing is one of the greatest activities to keep your mind young.
Thai Boxing is a mind/body sport, my mind is always engaged in the moment to make sure I am punching correctly, kicking correctly. When I first started taking this class I had no idea what this sport was all about. Over time, I am learning the proper technique that it takes to throw a strong punch. Coach Saul is always saying, ‘Right now we are working on repetition to learn the form, technique. The power of the punch/kick will come with repetition.’
A lot of times beginning students, especially young men, try to punch and kick as hard as they can. They are only punching with their arms and hands and kicking with their legs. Before knowing the technique of using your whole body to throw a punch, throw a kick, you get exhausted very quickly by trying to use too much power. When you finally learn all the form and technique that Coach Saul Soliz is throwing at us in every class, then you start to be able to throw those punches and land those kicks, using your whole body, and it doesn’t take so much out of you. You build endurance and learn how to conserve your energy.
Since Coach Saul Soliz is back, we pack so much more activity into every single class. He is always saying “Quickly, grab your gloves and go to the back quickly!” There is always a sense of urgency. There is never enough time. As I get older I understand this sense of urgency. This is something that I did not have when I was younger. There isn’t all the time in the world. The time to take action is NOW!
The class started as always with the warm-up jog and then exercises to loosen up our joints. Immediately followed by the more experienced people who have shin pads and head protection go to the cage to spar, everyone else to the back of the gym to practice punches against the wall mounted punching boxes.
Stand in boxing stance, left foot at 10 o’clock and right foot at 4 o’clock, head facing the wall, chin down, shoulders relaxed, face emotionless, on the balls of my feet, no flat feet, constantly shifting the weight from one foot to the other, bend my knees, ready to punch.
We go through the punch sequences to warm up:
One two, one two three, one two three two. We throw the one two about twenty times, two sets. Throw one two three about twenty times, two sets. Then combine the two punch sequences. Throw the one two three two twenty times, two sets. Then combine all three about eight times, two sets.
Next we move to the front of the gym. It is amazing because it has been less than 15 minutes and already we have done so much! The best thing about this class is the constant dialogue that Coach Saul Soliz keeps up. ‘Stay on the balls of your feet, reset your base’ he calls after almost every single punch sequence. ‘Keep your chin down! Relax your shoulders! Bring your hands up and your elbows in! Every time he sees someone with incorrect form, he is by them talking to them in between keeping the class going. Getting them back on track, making sure they understand what they need to learn.
We practice the same punches with a partner. One with mitts, the other with gloves. Now we are really warmed up and ready to go!
The next set of punches we practice:
Parry with the right glove, punch with the left glove. Parry definition – a defensive movement to deflect a thrusting attack, a word from fencing. Parrying is superior to blocking offensively and defensively.
Shoulder roll with left, punch with right.
Block with right glove by right ear, left hook, right punch.
Step back with the right foot as partner with mitts reaches out with the left mitt, then throw the right punch, using momentum from my right big toe as I push off to step forward.
We practice each of these sequences individually and then add them practice them together. For the beginners, and when I first started, this sequence was overload on my mind. Now that I’ve done it many times, it is easy to remember and practice.
It is great to see progress as I practice the punches over and over. There is a feeling of satisfaction and most importantly, a great cardio workout!
Another great workout!
To your health,
Kate Hauer, MMA